Updated guidance for charities reporting serious incidents

The Charity Commission has issued some additional guidance on reporting serious incidents during the Coronavirus pandemic. Whilst the Commission stresses that its main guidance on serious incident reporting continues to be the primary source of guidance for charities reporting serious incidents, this additional guidance provides guidance and a supplementary examples table to help trustees decide whether they need to report an incident that is related to the pandemic. The Commission notes that the pandemic is giving rise to scenarios and challenges for charities not envisaged when the current guidance was issued.

Examples include:
  • A charity having to take action to follow government rules e.g. closing premises. The Commission says that this would not necessarily be a serious incident - the charity would need to consider the impact on the charity – this will be the key to deciding whether an incident is ‘serious’ in accordance with the guidance and needs to be reported to the Commission.
  • Charities are required by the Commission to report any financial losses that don’t involve a crime where they exceed either £25,000 or 20% of the charity’s income. However, the updated guidance states that these thresholds do not apply when considering financial losses that are related to the pandemic. Trustees should focus on the significance of the impact of any losses rather than the amount.

Further useful examples can be found by following the link to the guidance above.

The Commission also emphasises the need for clear record keeping, for example, recording discussions and decisions where trustees decide not to report an incident.  For further advice, please contact your usual Stone King contact or Sarah Clune.

The law and practice referred to in this article or webinar has been paraphrased or summarised. It might not be up-to-date with changes in the law and we do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided at the time of reading. It should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice in relation to a specific set of circumstances.

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